Frequently asked questions
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding flat head syndrome and the treatment available at Orthotics UK.
First of all you will pick which clinic is most convenient for you. You and your baby will then attend an appointment that will last between 30 minutes and an hour. At this appointment the orthotist will start with a visual assessment, measurements and sometimes a scan. This will determine if your child has a form of flat head syndrome. The orthotist will then run through the treatment options for you. Most commonly either positional techniques or helmet therapy.
An orthotist is the primary medical clinician responsible for the prescription, manufacture and management of orthoses. An orthosis can have many uses including to control or support a limb or body segment or to limit the movement of a joint.
A full treatment of helmet therapy costs £2,000. This includes assessments,helmet costs and all reviews.
It takes 2 weeks to be manufactured from when the scan is taken.
This depends on a number of factors including age, severity of shape and compliance. Normal treatment times are between 5-12 months. The helmet will need to be worn for 22-23 hours a day and removed for bathing.
No pressure is applied to your babies head so the helmet therapy is not uncomfortable. Most babies take to the helmets surprisingly quickly. The specifically designed helmet works by allowing the head to grow into the voids created. The skull is not squeezed back into shape, but the growth is redirect to fill the flattened area. Reviews are set in place to ensure the helmet doesn't become tight.
If a child has a significant mis shaping to the head then we would look to provide helmet therapy after 4 months of age. The older a child gets the less flexible the skull becomes as the bony plates gradually fuse together. The sooner helmet therapy is applied generally the more successful the outcome and the treatment time is often shorter.
Our helmets are specifically designed for each baby. We do this by taking a quick scan and a series of measurements of your babies head. The helmet is made of thin lightweight plastic with soft padding inside.The helmet is held on without straps and we have many appealing designs to choose from. We can make the helmet a real fashion statement or in a clear or discreet colour. We will cater for whatever you so wish.
If flat head syndrome is left without any treatment a misshapen head can continue into adolescence and adulthood. As the bones in the skull fuse by 2 years old helmet therapy is no longer a possible treatment option.
In certain circumstance repositional techniques when applied under the age of 4 months can work well to correct an irregular head shape. The older a child get the more likely they will need a helmet as the bony plates in the head start to fuse by 18-24 months. Read more on positional techniques.
We advise that initially the helmet is worn during the day to allow the baby and the babies skin to get used to the helmet. Once this breaking in period is over sleeping is not normally an issue.
We typically treat children between the ages of 3 and 18 months.
Unfortunately, because the shape of the head is fully formed by age 2, cranial helmet therapy cannot be used to correct an abnormal head shape in adults.